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Ju-on: The Grudge
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Ju-on: The Grudge (2003)

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Plot Summary:
"It looks like a normal, everyday house, but the atmosphere about it is anything but. Something happened here once... no, even now there is a terror here, born of a spirit that possesses this place. The various supernatural experiences undergone by the different owners of the house, unaware of the horrible events that have taken place here, mingle across time, and the true form of the terrifying, invisible "Ju-On" that nests in this house becomes clear."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 01 December 2009 My Rating: out of 5


Social worker Megumi Okina is assigned the case of an elderly invalid, and finds a creepy little boy in her house. Earlier on in the same house, a family was haunted by the same ghostly boy. The film’s title relates to a ‘rage’, resulting in some form of tragedy, that leaves behind an evil spirit that can drive other people to similarly violent acts.

Although I might be so bold as to suggest that the American (and more streamlined) remake is a slight improvement over this Takashi Shimizu ghost story, it’s still one of the better films in the rather dull, overrated J-horror genre. The one thing it does have over the remake, is a more agreeable and talented lead actress (but really, is it hard to find someone more agreeable and of greater talent than Sarah Michelle Gellar? Start with the rest of the cast of “Buffy”, for instance…)

The grainy-looking opening alone is scarier than anything in any of the “Ringu” films. In fact, the film’s overall bizarreness and creepy sound FX put it way ahead of those films. I must admit, though, that the drab production design in all these films still ticks me off royally, and neither version gives us a single character to care a whit about.

But it’s definitely creepy- especially that messed up little kid- and certainly one of the best in the genre, for whatever that may be worth. One scene in particular stands out, perhaps for the wrong reasons; A terrified girl barricades the door, only it’s a sliding door, dummy!

One of the better films in a subgenre that I’m not especially partial to. Quite creepy at times, but I actually prefer the American remake, ever-so slightly. Still, this does the job OK.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 25 July 2004 My Rating: out of 5

I finally got to see this film after a long wait and I must say that whilst it was not as frightening as Ringu, I was still freaked out by it's creepy atmosphere and scary imagery.

Most people are sure to know by now that the film centres on a house where something bad happened once. That event left a mark on the house, which curses anyone who encounters the house or it's residents.

From the get go Ju-on is very dark. It's broken narrative makes it move quickly ensuring that we are chilled to the bone at a fast and frightening pace.

I am pleased to report that Takashi Shimizu has successfully done his bit to make sure that everyday comforts and luxuries are now terrifying, because if you come home and find that you are being chased by an angry spirit you can't even hide under the covers anymore.

The ghosts are very wisely shown in glimpses at first, but we are then subjected to full on scary scenes that are backed up by some very creepy sound design and atmospheric lighting.

Had I seen this film before Ring it would have been a revelation but the fact that it appears years later lessens it's impact somewhat.

The only downside to the film is that it uses modern technology to frighten us,which is sadly now a convention of the genre all in itself, and therefore comes across as cliche.

Not as terrifying as Ring but a bloody good film that haunts you afterwards, The Grudge is way better than The Eye and whilst the remake so far appears to be shot by shot, I can only hope that they don't ruin what has the potential to be the big horror hit this Autumn.

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